Friday, February 12, 2010

Eating the Six-Legged

A promise is a promise, and I swore to the class last semester I'd eat the giant Thai water bugs I bought at my neighborhood grocery (discussed in originally in this post).

I can't say I was looking forward to this meal per se, but I wasn't too apprehensive either. Being a New England boy, I love shellfish, and so shell-on shrimp, lobsters, and full-bellied clams all taste good to me. How different would this be? So I went with that culinary theme and decided to go with the Deep-Fry option , having it be part of a side dish to my lunch:

Am I feeling squeamish, or focusing with laser-like attention
on my palate? You be the judge

I finished it off with garlic and some curry powder sprinkle to accompany my tofu and shiitake mushrooms.

I have to say, it wasn't at all what I was expecting. The texture was crunchy and a bit scaly (I anticipated that), however the flavor was odd ~ it was like an aromatic blend of banana leaves and something else I can't put my finger on - somewhat nutty, almost like a pungent jasmine, and VERY salty. All that said, I can't say that it was tasty, at least not the way I prepared it, the novice that I am.

One thing I marveled at was the meat inside the thorax, clearly these guys fly a fair bit as their flight muscles were bulky and fleshy the way you see in dragonflies, in fact, you can actually make it out by texture distinctively as meat:

I didn't end up eating every last bit, but gave it a good "college try" as they used to say. Some parts were just a little to chitinous to manage...

For some more entomophagy related posts from the Ecology of Food blog, go here, there, and this one!

A recent post on this blog also highlights some advanced cooking of insects Creole style in New Orleans.


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